Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"A Moment Eternal"

A Picture says Thousands of Words

Congratulations, President Barack Obama

Who would have ever seen this day come so soon...

Monday, January 19, 2009

"The Dream Continues..."

*Sidenote: Started as Response to Ivan's, of Hip Hop Is Read, post on Dr. King. Check It Out*

As I reflect on this day so many thoughts come to mind as to how far the country has progrssed since he told the world of his dream. In a fantastic moment, it's great that we celebrate MLK's Birthday the day before Obama's Inauguration. It gives us time to appreciate the grueling labor and struggle put in by previous generations to help us reach this moment. I think if Dr. king was alive today, He would be sastified (to a degree) with the direction our country is headed in, but he would still see room for more work to done. So while we celebrate Dr. King and the entire civils rights movement with the culmination of a African-American President, let's remember that we have come so far, but there is still so far we can go.

If this a dream, don't wake me up, because I want to last forever....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

RE:Wind Back to Classic Period In Hip-Hop

Thought I was not coming back to give you what you need *NO* Really? then you sound like this gal I'm trying to spit my game too (Details later (read: not likely) on if I gets where I needs to get with that situation). What was I talking about again, oh yeahs, Who can rock a party like a John Q party when no one attends, AGAIN, WHO CAN ROCK A PARTY LIKE A JOHN Q PARTY WHEN NO ONE ATTENDS. *NOW EVERYBODY*...

ANNIE-WHO (Said in Californa Governor Voice) *Sidenote: For Reals: Police Brutality never seems to amaze to one. On the real, RIP Oscar Grant and Justice will be served in your name and all those who suffer at the hands of unjust law enforcement* Let's no make this post today too long because I know you all will jump down the post to see what Q drops (John says: I do the same thing too, when Q is not looking). So now let's get up in a like a wedgie, says who, says me the Potserial..

Common Sense - Resurrection 12"
COMMON SENSE IS AT HIS BEST!!! Common Sense (or to the mainstream today, Common) shows an evolution Darwin would be amazed to discuss from his first album to his second album. Resurrection (the album) is a great work of art to this day and, let me just say it.... COMMON TEARS SH.T UP ON THIS ALBUM. Here is where we reach the title track of the album that was also released as a single. Resurrection shows Common Sense and No I.D. (Don't know him much, then you and Kanye can't hold a convosation) at their best. NO I.D. just laces up this banging track with a cool piano loop and crazy DJ scratch for Sense to operate on. Common just spits on what it is and showcases why he would develop into one of the all time greats. Man, after hearing his last album, If Basuzim did not get him, let's call it that Hollywood aura that traps you up and leads you from where you most familiar (read: best) with (Kanye Says: It got you too, Com?). I got to send Common a Message to get back the Sense and then make it and it will all be good. Resurrection is a dope song and it is not event the best song on the album. The track after it puts Common in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame.

Nas - The World is Yours 12"
TRAGICALLY BEAUTIFUL GIFT TO THE THE PEOPLE!!! Awwah the infamous Nasir Jones, or as he would be like to know Nas (or Nas Escobar, or Nasty Nas, or Nas The Villain or....), and this time of his life. Nas was a young cat back in the early.... To heck with this, you KNOW WHO NAS IS. Moving on to the main portion of this post, Nas released Illmatic in '94 and the world (let's say hip hop to be more secluded) would never be the same (at least mine's). What is Illmatic, you ask? Well, foolish individual, it is the greatest forty minutes in hip hop history (No, really, it is, just check the Urban Dictionary). One of the more well known tracks from the album was lucky enough to be released as a single. The World is Yours was written by Nasir and produce by the legendary Pete Rock. Pete Rock's production is just haunting and despair searching for hope (kinda Deep, huh). Rock flips Ahmad Jamal's "I Love Music" and Samples T La Rock's "It Yours" to give Nas a palette to paint his potrait upon. Nas delivers flawless lyrics on the bleak world that takes residence in and still through all the hardship of his life, he can still find the strength to tell anyone who listens that the world is yours. And they say hip hop has no message. To any youngster who reads this: Listen to Illmatic and then let's dicuss your views on hip-hop
*CAUTION: Listening to Illmatic, and album by next person in this post, may lead to a serious expainsion of thought and self. Proceed with CAUTION*

The Notorious B.IG. - Juicy 12"
SPREAD LOVE ITS THE BROOKLYN WAY!!! What More Can be said the Biggie than has already been said. By now you how the story goes, so lets keep the program the moving. The Notorious B.I.G. (Did anybody every call him by this name on the real) debuted to the public with this 12" and the world (for reals) would not be the same. Let's See, how do this go, oh yeah 2+2=5. Now getting back to the suybject at hand, Biggie released the song juicy to the masses (Puffy included) and the streets ate this up. Juciy wasBiggie intro to the mass at hand and he made it be known what it was. Juciy was produced by Puffy and his Hitmen *COUGH PETE ROCK COUGH* to allow Biggie to spit his thoughts on the record. The Story of this track is tha tBig was hesistant to jump on the record because he wanted the hardcore street sh.t, but Puff convinced him to do by saying *While Dancing his dance* "Yo Big, You do this joint and we can give you that hardcore street sh't for the B-Side so no ill feelin towards the track". Big agreeed and a hip-hop classic was born. Juciy is the tale of Big from rags-to-riches while still being the same cat you hang on the block with. Some of the tales in the song may be countereable, but umm... IT IS A SONG, DEALS WITH IT!!!! You Know I may be in minority on this track, but B-Side Ties Again. The B-Side, Unbelievable, is one of the best songs from Big and with Premo as the producer, how does this not go wrong. I will save the backstory to this ong for latter (Yeah), but just listen to this 12" because it is one of the best hip has ever had to offer. RIP King of New York
*PS: Saw Notorious and it was not half bad. Gravy did his thing and so did most of the other cast members. It did seem a little fast paced, but it's all good. At least they got the right cat to write the movie (Same cat who wrote Big's Biography). Not bad (from what I was expecting), Not Bad At All*

So Without Further ado, here is the RE:Wind Back to Classic Period In Hip-Hop

Common Sense - Resurrection 12"

Resurrection '95 (Clean) (4:00)
Resurrection (Extra P. Remix) (Clean) (4:09)
Resurrection (Large Professor Remix) (Clean) (4:06)
Resurrection '95 (Acapella Version) (3:20)
Resurrection '95 (Instrumental) (4:00)
Resurrection (Extra P. Instrumental) (4:12)
Resurrection (Large Professor Instrumental) (4:06)
Chapter 13 (Clean) (5:41)

Mediafire Link

Nas - The World Is Yours 12"

The World Is Yours (4:51)
The World Is Yours (Instrumental) (4:51)
The World Is Yours (Tip Mix) (4:29)
The World Is Yours (Tip Mix Instrumental) (4:30)

Mediafire Link

The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy 12"

Juicy (Dirty Mix) (5:05)
Unbelievable (3:45)
Juicy (Remix) (4:42)
Juicy (Instrumental) (5:05)
Juicy (Remix Instrumental) (4:43)
Unbelievable (Instrumental) (3:45)

Mediafire Link

So, peace to the nation, the people that represent, and those
cats that never bug out to the extreme

Yo, If word is bond
then Q Moves On
*But Not For Long.... (Fades to Black)*

Friday, January 2, 2009

How do you introduce Slum Village? That question has been bugging me for the last hour or so. They are a group like no other, that harbors influences from countless places. The group was spearheaded by arguably the greatest producer of all time. There aren't enough words to describe what J Dilla bought to Slum Village. Very rarely does a producer overshadow the other members of the group (Primo and Pete Rock are examples). Needless to say, Jay Dee is held in very high regard (partly because of his untimely passing, but also because of the amazing work he's done). Alongside Jay were Baatin and T3, less-known but still cornerstones of the group.
*Ten useless biographical sentences later*
And that's the story of Slum Village. Now it's time for Fantastic Vol.2, hit it!

1. Introduction
For once I can actually applaud the intro. Although it's kind of ignorant for me to assume that Slum Village would make an average rap album intro. I love the last 7 seconds of this track too.

2. Conant Gardens
An ode to where the crew grew up. The title is anyway, the lyrics are more reminiscent of braggadocio hip-hop where they effortlessly ride the instrumental while kicking some dope rhymes.

3. I Don't Know
I don't know why I wasted my time with this track. Baatin and T3 took a capable instrumental and turned it into a snoozer. Next!

4. Jealousy
Sounds like Jurassic 5 with the choppy flow and the subject matter. This song isn't going to change anyone's life, in fact I can't even imagine anyone remembering this song after hearing it. So, it was a delete for me.

5. Climax (Girl Shit)
A very soft-spoken track, emitting the warmth only an average R&B tinged J Dilla track can bring. This track bears a very striking likeness to The Tribe Best Known As Quest. Although retaining the qualities that make Slum Village such a well-respected group.

6. Hold Tight
Another chill, mellow, laid-back track. Although it's somewhat of an aberration as all of Slum's tracks can be described as chill and mellow. This is one of the better Dilla instrumentals off the whole album, as such I would have preferred less features. Q-Tip's verse is nice, but it starts to trail off from there (said in a diminishing voice).

7. Tell Me
I could do without the weak hook and the strange interlude-esque conversations at the end of the tracks. Once again this song starts off well, it even holds up well till about the halfway mark when the lyrics crash like a house of cards. This Dilla beat is something else though I tell you... Baatin and T3 should still be counting their blessings.

8. What It's All About

I wish I had something good to say about Busta's verse, or even as an artist in general (Arab Money? That's what your career has come to?). Alas, I'll leave that topic relatively untouched. Another dope beat, interesting sample for the hook, I was feeling this track all in all.

9. Forth And Back
Nah, wasn't really feeling this one at all. Even the instrumental was pretty weak here. Next.

10. Untitled/Fantastic
And we're back on track. This song has always mystified me, something so ethereal about this instrumental, and for once I can one up the MC's. They did their thing on this here beat. Possibly the best song on the album, so you already know how I feel about it.

11. Fall In Love
I honestly prefer the last minute and a half to the beginning of the track. The musical backdrop is something amazing, and the hook is haunting. I don't know what the last 30 or so seconds were about, I'm sure they tied into this recurring plot at the end of every song, but it really detached from the track's overall value.

12. Get Dis Money
Personally, I don't think anyone should ever spit over this instrumental. And when they do spit over this memento, it should be something more than: "Hey, hey/ What you say/ Get dis money"... Comparable to letting Lil' Wayne freestyle over I Used To Love H.E.R. It's not a bad track at all though. Just that you'd expect Slum Village to dig deep and find lyrics and a hook worthy of this instrumental.

13. Raise It Up
Not really feeling any of it. Some hypocritical titles here!

14. Once Upon A Time
Pete Rock and Dilla together produce this beast of an instrumental. And the good folks over at Slum Village grace this track with some poignant lyricism. Thank you. And for once, the last part of the song isn't completely worthwhile-less.

15. Players
T3 actually did an interview with Fader, where he talked about this song. One of the things he mentioned is that the sample actually says Claire and not Players. But they say Players so much in the song, that's what you believe the sample is really saying. The song itself is amazing. A classic Slum Village cut. Also here's an quote about the motivation for the track:

People don’t know that was a battle song, only niggas in the D know that. We was actually talking ’bout some real niggas. We’re cool today, but it was actually (deceased rapper) Proof's group (5 Elementz). These niggas had just dropped they CD that Dilla did most of the beats for and they was just acting arrogant, walking around real tough and we got kind of offended by it. Once we started talking about it, Waajeed (from Platinum Pied Pipers) was like a hype man, like, “Man, they just put their shit out, where’s yours?” We went over to Dilla’s house and it was one a them nights where everything was clickin'. Two weeks later we came with Vol.1. They kind of inspired us by being so arrogant, so we made “Players” about them. They found out, I don’t know how…somebody told.

16. Eyes Up
After the song that preceded it, you're just expecting so much more than this insignificant babble. It's not a bad song, but Baatin and T3 are capable of so much more. Not bad, but definitely lackluster.

17. 2U4U
Slum Village's two lesser members ruin another good instrumental. They ain't sayin' nothing!

18. CB4
No Chris Rock references to be found here. The hook has me scratching my head quite a bit. Are they chanting or what? One of the strangest things I've ever heard on wax. Blow-job interference? Cock-blockers? Very clever.As for the song itself, it's not really anything worth hearing.

19. Go Ladies
There's no rapping to be found here. Some incoherent babbling in the first verse, and it never really gets much better. Another lacking effort over a very capable instrumental.

20. Thelonius
Ironically, Slum Village treats listeners to a top-quality send off. Superior to most of the album and definitely a song you should check out.

It's hard to really pass judgement on this album. Although the lyrical content was terrible (sorry John), the instrumentals were top-notch. This album reminded me of Group Home's Livin Proof'. Then again Slum Village was never known as amazing lyricists and Jay Dee, in fact most hip hop fans would be hard-pressed to name Baatin and T3 as the other members. So I can't say much about this album on a lyrical level, but an instrumental version of this album would be very well worth your time.